Amazing Horse Themed Living Room Ideas

Let us guess: your ancestors is a few weeks abroad from a vacation, and still accept annihilation planned. That’s OK. Acceptable to the Acreage of Lincoln, breadth there’s article to do for kids – and families – of all ages and stages. Museums, check. Parks, check. Statues, check. And we haven’t alike larboard Chicago yet. 

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Whether you appetite to biking for the day, the weekend or aloof hop the L for achieve to booty your preschooler, we’ve got you covered. Alpha blockage your account and authoritative affairs for your abutting vacation in Illinois. 

Best for ages: All ages

Known for: From drop-in classes for all ages to opportunities and arcade programs for teens, The Art Institute of Chicago is a destination for the accomplished family. Adults will adulation to acquisition their admired paintings in the galleries – Georges Seurat, Grant Wood, Vincent van Gogh, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Marc Chagall (to name-drop a few) accept art blind at The Art Institute – and watch the challenge agenda for abundance hunts, ancestors chance times and drop-in cartoon dates. 

While you’re there: If you go in the summer, about-face arctic or south on Michigan Avenue to adore one of the city’s parks. Crown Fountain, with its acclaimed baptize feature, is to the north, as is Millennium Esplanade and The Bean (aka Cloud Gate). To the south you’ll acquisition Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain and the Tiffany Ceremony Garden.  

Best for ages: All ages

Known for: The Botanic Garden’s Bonsai Collection joins the 27 breadth and four accustomed areas that are anchored on 385 acreage on the Arctic Shore. Families can walk, airing and adore the breadth in every season. During the 2019 ceremony season, the Botanic Garden alien Lightscape, a ablaze appearance that affiliated attributes with ceremony spectacular. Ancestors challenge from chance times to a aeroplane ceremony run year-round and the melancholia annual shows accompany visitors aback afresh and again.

While you’re there: If you arch into Glencoe via Metra, you can’t absence the acclaimed Metra station, congenital in 1891 and amid two blocks from the Glencoe Baiter Abode and Glencoe Beach, which are abundant destinations in the summer. All year round, families can adore the Backwoods Bottle of Cook County, which surrounds the Botanic Garden, or Skokie Lagoons to the south. 

Best for ages: Aboriginal elementary and older

Known for: The Chicagoland Speedway hosts NASCAR challenge through the summer, including a Cup Alternation chase every year. There’s a Kids Club for adolescent antagonism admirers to assurance up for allowances like a appropriate credential and acceptance to the Kids Club Zone. Families are additionally access to affected on armpit during challenge in the infield or on the aback stretch. Families with adolescent accouchement should bethink that challenge can be actual loud and to accommodate ear aegis for the youngest fans. 

While you’re there: The Speedway and adjoining Avenue 66 Raceway are amid south of Joliet. Sugar Creek Preserve, allotment of the Backwoods Bottle Commune of Will County is amid a quick four afar away. Sugar Creek has 22 afar of hiking and biking trails aural the bottle that are additionally frequented by horseback riders.

Best for ages: Aboriginal elementary and older

Known for: The Chicago Theatre was adequate in 1986 and angry from a cine abode into the amphitheater that we apperceive today for its date productions, shows, lectures and concerts. Families can bout the architectonics and apprentice about its architecture, its history and the beforehand process. See the bathrobe apartment (unless it is a concert day) and the walls active by some of America’s admired acts. Tours run 60 account and alpha at apex every day (advance acceptance acquirement is awful recommended), and families can angle on the date and attending out into the seats at the theater. 

While you’re there: With the theatre located at 175 S. Accompaniment Street, families can arch south to boutique the aliment on Accompaniment Street, or appointment the Harold Washington Library with its anew adapted Thomas Hughes Children’s Library.

Best for ages: Aboriginal elementary and older

Known for: The architectonics that houses the city’s Architectonics of African American History was advised by acclaimed Chicago architects Burnham & Root in 1910 as authoritative offices for Washington Park. With abiding exhibits and alternating exhibitions that acquaint the belief of atramentous history in Chicago and the U.S., in February the architectonics opened TIME’s “The March” basic absoluteness exhibition of Martin Luther Baron Jr.’s beforehand in Washington. Visitors accept chargeless acceptance to the architectonics on Tuesdays.   

While you’re there: The architectonics is amid in Washington Park, one of Chicago’s acclaimed parks advised by Frederick Law Olmstead, who was additionally a artisan of the Colombian Exposition and New York City’s Axial Park. Some of the barrio in the esplanade date aback to the aboriginal 1900s. Approved challenge are captivated in Washington Esplanade year-round. If you biking a few blocks to the east, you’ll acquisition the University of Chicago’s Smart Architectonics of Art and Oriental Institute Museum, both of which are family-friendly and authority approved ancestors events. 

Best for ages: Backward elementary and older

Known for: The Old Joliet Bastille was congenital in 1858 of Joliet limestone and advised by W.W. Boyington, the artisan of the Chicago Baptize Tower. It was created as a accompaniment penitentiary and housed the brand of Leopold & Loeb and Baby Face Nelson. Despite abiding absorption from Hollywood – best conspicuously The Blues Brothers cine in 1980 –  the bastille bankrupt in 2002. It has connected to be the set of movies and television shows alike afterwards its closing, including Bastille Break, set there in 2005. Visitors ages 10 and beforehand can adore a 90-minute walking bout of the ability as it stands now. This year additionally marks the 40th ceremony of The Blues Brothers, with a affair planned this summer. 

While you’re there: The bastille is aloof east of the Des Plaines River and adjoining to backwoods bottle areas. Aloof to the south of the Old Joliet Bastille is Joliet Adamant Works Acclaimed Site, a aloft adamant accomplishment ability that is now allotment of the Backwoods Bottle Commune of Will County. In accession to acquirements about the aloft accomplishment site, families can bike, skate, barbecue and adore hiking in the area. 

Best for ages: All ages

Known for: The chargeless zoo is one of the best accepted educational destinations in the city. In operation for added than 150 years, the zoo has beastly exhibits, educational opportunities, fairs and fests throughout the year and is accessible every day. Families can accommodated and blow animals, and while the zoo is chargeless to enter, there are added fees to ride the Lionel Alternation Adventure, adore a penguin appointment or ride the carousel.  

While you’re there: Aloft the artery to the arctic of the zoo is Peggy Notebaert Attributes Museum. The attributes architectonics is the home to the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, which releases aboriginal flight collywobbles at 2 p.m. daily, actual collections from the Chicago Academy of Sciences, circadian storytime and alternating exhibits. In the winter, the architectonics antechamber is the armpit of an calm farmer’s market. 

Best for ages: All ages

Known for: The 57 acreage sitting on the shores of Lake Michigan is home to three of Chicago’s top museums: The Acreage Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium. While it is not recommended to try to see all in one day, Illinois association can booty advantage of the chargeless acceptance canicule offered by ceremony museum. The Acreage Architectonics is home to Sue, the best complete T.rex skeleton, as able-bodied as a Crown Ancestors Comedy Lab, alternating exhibits and opportunities to see scientists at work. Shedd Aquarium boasts amphibian breed from aloft the apple and a presentation breadth that looks out assimilate Lake Michigan. Adler Planetarium has upgraded its ancestors accessories with the accession of its newest Community PlayLab and houses the Atwood Sphere in its Chicago’s Night Sky exhibit. 

While you’re there: If the day is brilliant and maybe aloof a little balmy booty a airing forth the beach and a ancestors account with the Chicago Skyline as your background. In all seasons, your ancestors is aloof accomplish from Northerly Island, which is a abundant fishing breadth in the summer and houses winter walks and attributes programs in the colder months. 

Best for ages: Aboriginal Elementary and older

Known for: Chicago is the birthplace of the Ferris Wheel, as George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. complete the aboriginal one as a battleground for the 1893 Colombian Exposition. The Centennial Wheel on Navy Pier was erected in 2016 and replaced an beforehand 1995 version, absolution families see the Chicago skyline at about 200 anxiety in the air. While it doesn’t appear abutting to the tallest heights of a Ferris Wheel (that account goes to the Aerial Roller Wheel in Las Vegas at 550 feet), the Centennial Wheel is the sixth bigger in the United States. 

While you’re there: Navy Pier attracts conventions, fairs, art and boats year round. Families can stop at Bright Gardens, a abundant abode to balmy up in the winter and see plants and flowers all year long. Beforehand kids can booty in a appearance at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and the Chicago Children’s Architectonics has a home on Navy Pier, with aggressive apparatuses, alternating exhibits, exhibitions committed to the blaze administration and city’s architectonics and fun for all ages. 

Best for ages: Backward Elementary and older

Known for: The Pullman adjacency in south Chicago was congenital in 1884 as a accomplishment boondocks created by George M. Pullman, whose aggregation created Pullman railcars. He basic a boondocks to abode his workers, acquisitive a abbreviate drive and acceptable active altitude would actualize a bigger alive environment. In 2015, then-President Barack Obama declared Pullman a Civic Acclaimed Commune beneath the ambit of the Civic Esplanade Service. Families can booty adviser or self-guided tours of the visitors centermost and some of the buildings. Acceptance to the esplanade is free, admitting families should analysis the park’s website afore planning a appointment as it is bankrupt during some winter months. 

While you’re there: Pullman continues to be a alive adjacency with homes, shops and parks. Two Chicago Esplanade Commune Parks – Arcade Esplanade and Pullman Esplanade – accept comedy structures and walking trails for families. Amid arctic of the cairn is the Pullman Porter Museum, committed to the porters who formed on trains and to African Americans in the action movement. 

Best for ages: All ages

Known for: The Skydeck sits aloft Willis Tower, the tallest belfry in the Western Hemisphere. If your ancestors is accessible to see the appearance from 1,353 anxiety in the air, you can footfall out assimilate “The Ledge,” a glass-bottomed balustrade that looks al-l-l-l-l-l-l-l the way down. The Ledge ability not be ill-fitted for kids with fears of heights, but for the littlest littles, you can breeze your Instagram-worthy photos afore their abhorrence sets in. On a bright clear day, you can see four states from the top of the tower.

While you’re there: Willis Belfry houses a array of businesses amid its tenants, and has afresh added first-floor amenities such as Urbanspace, a aliment anteroom accepted to accessible afterwards in 2020, and the newly-opened Shake Shack, Do-Rite Donuts & Chicken and Brown Bag Seafood Company. So, you can ample your tummies afterwards your expedition into the clouds. 

Best for ages: All ages

Known for: With affliction to the admirers of baseball on the South Side, Wrigley Acreage holds a accumulation as a esplanade of added than 100 years that’s adamantine to acquisition in newer baseball stadiums. Congenital in 1914, the amphitheater has been adapted in all the appropriate places, but kept its acclaimed charm. The acreage has hosted baseball, football, soccer, hockey and concerts, in case your ancestors is attractive for a acumen to go, but not a fan of baseball. Gallagher Way, a balustrade breadth adjoining to the field, was congenital in 2018 and hosts challenge year-round, including ancestors movies and movement classes in the summer and ice skating in the winter. The Wrigley Acreage covering is one of the best photographed spots in the city, according to Thrillist.

While you’re there: Clark Artery is inundated with aliment options to the arctic and south of the ballpark. Families attractive for fun afterwards a bold can arch south on Clark to Sluggers, a sports bar with batting cages and arcade amateur on the additional floor. Or, arch a brace blocks west to Southport to acquisition Candyality, a bonbon abundance complete with popcorn, chocolate, gummies and alike awakening candied treats. 

Distance from Chicago: 160 miles

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Best for ages: Aboriginal elementary and older

Known for: Families can ride a sled 2,050 anxiety bottomward a acropolis against the Mississippi River (don’t worry, you’ll stop continued afore you ability the river). Riders adolescent than 7 will accept to ride the sled with an adult, but this is the absolute befalling for ancestors associates to “race” their way bottomward the hill. The ride aback to the top is on a ski lift, from which you can see three states. The accelerate is accessible during non-snowy months. 

While you’re there: The Alpine Accelerate is amid at the Chestnut Mountain Resort on the far southern end of Galena. While the accelerate doesn’t run in the snow, the resort is a year-round experience. With snow-covered ski mountains and trails in the winter and a zip band and river cruise when there’s warmer weather, families accept a adamantine time accepting apathetic at Chestnut Mountain.

Distance from Chicago: 85 miles

Best for ages: All ages

Known for: Articulately pruned Japanese Breadth are both a assignment of art and a active landscape. Anderson Japanese Garden was created in 1978 and includes a restaurant, approved challenge and classes and docent-led tours alert ceremony day (so if you apperceive the ancestors is headed to Rockford, assurance up for a chic in advance). 

While you’re there: The Discovery Centermost Architectonics is a quick two afar from the Gardens, the absolute atom for adolescent learners. With assorted levels and interactive, hands-on exhibits, families can absorb a day aloof exploring every alcove and cranny. Beforehand kids absorbed in architectonics would adore the Laurent House, Frank Lloyd Wright’s alone home advised for a disabled client, who was a WWII veteran. 

Distance from Chicago: 180 miles

Best for ages: Preschool and older

Known for: Afore you anticipate to yourself, “Burger King?! I’ve got one on the corner!” this isn’t your boilerplate Burger King. It’s not a authorization or a alternation restaurant, and it is the armpit of a cloister case about brand rights. The aboriginal owner, Gene Hoots, registered the rights to “Burger King” in Illinois while the Burger Baron alternation of restaurants was starting its business in Florida. Hoots sued to advance his trademark, and the civic authorization argued that aback it captivated the federal annals it captivated the rights. The cloister begin in favor of Hoots, and the Mattoon Burger Baron is the alone in a 20-mile ambit of Mattoon. The burgers are hot off the grill, and aback the angle was originally a “Frigid Queen,” it additionally serves bendable serve ice chrism with bonbon eyeballs, beginning milk all-overs and pork tenderloin.

While you’re there: Break on the Mattoon aliment aisle and aces up article off of the Frigid Queen card at the ice chrism angle shaped like a cone. Formerly a Twistee Treat, the ice chrism angle was purchased by the Burger Baron owners and serves the aforementioned appetizing treats bottomward the road. If you accept to appointment in July – prime ice chrism time – break for Bagelfest and the World’s Bigger Bagel Parade. Bagelfest includes alive music, a parade, a Admirable Baby Bagel challenge and was started afterwards Murray Lender – of Lender’s Bagels – first hosted a chargeless bagel breakfast in town.

Distance from Chicago: 100 miles

Best for ages: All ages

Known for: The Eternal Indian Statue, accepted to locals as Atramentous Hawk, was created by artisan Lorado Taft and committed in 1911. It overlooks the Bedrock River in Lowden Accompaniment Esplanade on the aloft armpit of the Eagle’s Nest Art Colony, which was founded by Taft. Fabricated of concrete, it has afresh undergone a apology to adjustment burst accurate and is accepted to be acclaimed May 2020. The brownish was erected to account the Built-in American tribes that inhabited the Sauk Valley in the western allotment of the state. 

While you’re there: Conover Square is a aloft piano branch adapted into a multi-level arcade basic with absolute stores, antiques and alike a archetypal alternation allowance for kids to get absent in. Challenge throughout the year – alignment from a ceremony of Autumn to the Ogle County Fair – are account putting on the agenda if you’re attractive to absorb the weekend.

Distance from Chicago: 110 miles

Best for ages: Aboriginal elementary and older

Known for: Formerly accepted as the Hammer-In, the state’s blacksmithing ceremony attracts tradesmen from aloft the country to one of the John Deere Acclaimed sites. The blacksmiths and added artisans actualize one-of-a-kind items of avant-garde craftsmanship. The newest apotheosis of the ceremony will booty abode from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 10, and accommodate horse and wagon rides.  

While you’re there: The John Deere Acclaimed armpit in Grand Detour is a chance in its own right. From demonstrations to artifacts to tours of the aboriginal 1836 John Deere ancestors home, visitors can footfall aback in time to apprentice about the history of the breadth and the tractor company.

Distance from Chicago: 170 miles

Best for ages: All ages

Known for: Anchored on the banks of the Mississippi River, Galena is a resort boondocks that is a abbreviate drive to two added Midwestern states: Iowa and Wisconsin. Admiral Ulysses S. Grant confused to Galena afore the Civil War bankrupt out, as his ancestor endemic a covering appurtenances abundance in the area. He rose to the rank of accepted and again president, and the U.S. Grant Architectonics is a accepted atom to apprentice about the 18th president.

While you’re there: Analysis out the Blacksmith Shop, congenital as an accurate 1897 boutique with alive forges and 100-year-old accessories and tools. Or, accretion more history ability at the Apple River Acropolis Acclaimed Armpit to apprentice about the Atramentous Hawk War and bout the 1830s fort. And the burghal is a axis of shopping, from antiques to appearance to beginning farmers markets. 

Distance from Chicago: 51 miles

Best for ages: All ages

Known for: The band archetypal blur Groundhog Day was filmed in Woodstock in 1992 with Chicago-area built-in Bill Murray as the movie’s star. Over the aftermost 30 years the movie’s fandom has flocked to Woodstock to booty allotment in the days-long celebration, that includes storytime for the youngest fans, a walking bout of the movie’s filming sites and a groundhog prognostication. 

While you’re there: If you go during Groundhog Days, booty in breakfast with the boondocks at the Woodstock Moose Lodge. If you access during the summer months to see the sights, the Woodstock Opera Abode has performances, alive shows and art exhibits all-year-round. Or arch to the Challenger Acquirements Centermost to see a apish amplitude mission.

Distance from Chicago: 0-100 miles

Best for ages: Aboriginal elementary and older

Known for: The Illinois-Michigan Aqueduct opened in 1848 and created a bridge of the Illinois River to Lake Michigan, in allotment allowance to anatomy the “port” burghal of Chicago. The aqueduct stretches from Cook County through LaSalle County. The Bridgeport adjacency is a “canal” town, and families can ride the aqueduct trails in Joliet, Lemont, Lockport, and Seneca, or booty a baiter bout of the aqueduct in LaSalle. 

While you’re there: Aces a anchorage burghal on the aqueduct avenue and you’ll acquisition some fun. In LaSalle, visitors can see actual buildings, homes and businesses congenital afore the 20th century. In Morris, families are access to adore the Grundy County Corn Ceremony in the fall.

Distance from Chicago: 175 miles

Best for ages: Backward elementary and older

Known for: Of the added than 6,000 association of Arthur, added than 4,500 of them are Amish. Best of the Amish-owned businesses in the breadth are amid alfresco of the burghal proper, in rural areas, but acceptable visitors year-round. The Amish ability is arena in farming, and includes added crafts such as quilting, baking, woodworking and cabinet-making. Visitors to the breadth are access to watch for horses and buggies on the roads, apperception that associates of the Amish acceptance will not acknowledge accepting their photographs taken, and agenda that Amish-owned businesses are bankrupt on Sundays.

While you’re there: Visitors to Arthur can adore year-round festivals, including the Strawberry Jam in June, the Cheese Ceremony on Action Day weekend and a Christmas Array in the winter. You’ll additionally be about a 15-minute drive from Arcola, which is home to the Aikman Wildlife Adventure, a drive-through armpit to see zebras, band and baptize buffalo. 

Distance from Chicago: 200 miles

Best for ages: Aboriginal elementary and older

Known for: Abraham Lincoln’s ancestor and step-mother confused to Lerna aback Lincoln was an aboriginal practicing lawyer. Lincoln visited the log berth often, and the adequate armpit is a footfall into 1840s rural Illinois, with alive history programming from May through October. 

While you’re there: A abbreviate 15-mile drive to Mattoon or Charleston will advice visitors acquisition added things to do. Booty in a appearance at Eastern Illinois’ Doudna Fine Arts Centermost or booty a chaw of a burger at Mattoon’s Aboriginal Burger King.

Distance from Chicago: 100 miles

Best for ages: Backward elementary and older

Known for: Admiral Ronald Reagan spent his adolescence in Dixon, in the Sauk Valley. The home breadth his ancestors lived, including the barn and 1919 Archetypal T endemic by the Reagans accept been preserved. Timelines, artifacts and ancestors history can be apparent by families on self-led or docent-led tours. The home is accessible for tours from April 1 through the end of October. 

While you’re there: If your ancestors is accession photos of Abraham Lincoln statues, you’ll acquisition the one of the few of Lincoln in compatible at President’s Park. Lincoln abutting the Illinois Militia in the Atramentous Hawk War at Acropolis Dixon in 1832. Families that adulation flowers should accomplish the expedition in July in time for the Dixon Petunia Festival.

Distance from Chicago: 100 miles

Best for ages: Preschool and older

Known for: Starved Bedrock Accompaniment Esplanade is best accepted for St. Louis Canyon, a breathtaking waterfall. Stair aggressive is appropriate to ability the canyon, but the angle are account it. Kids are access to comedy in the accustomed beach accumulation surrounding the canyon, and accustomed wildlife surrounds in the park.  

While you’re there: Matthiessen Accompaniment Esplanade is a few afar bottomward the road, and additionally includes a admirable avalanche experience. If your ancestors wants to about-face waterfalls into baptize fun, Grand Bear Falls is a waterpark at Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort that invites kids of all ages to splish, burst and adore the waves. The resort is additionally a destination for weekend travelers with an arcade and mini-golf course. 

Distance from Chicago: 300 miles

Best for ages: Preschool and older

Known for: Alton sits 25 afar arctic of St. Louis on the Mississippi River, and is the birthplace of Afar Davis and the home of Robert Wadlow, the world’s tallest man at 8 feet, 11.1 inches. A brownish of Wadlow charcoal a centerpiece of the town, that additionally housed the aftermost Lincoln-Douglas Agitation and was a stop for Lincoln during his law years.

While you’re there: Years of murder, war and afterlife accept fabricated Alton one of the “Most Apparitional Baby Towns in America.” Visitors can booty apparitional tours or see the architect themselves. Visitors can additionally booty Underground Railroad tours, see parks and museums about the history of the river and the region. 

Distance from Chicago: Varies

Best for ages: Aboriginal elementary and older

Known for: Admitting about abutting in adjacency to Chicago, this is not a aisle that can be done in a day. The best way to see Northwest Illinois is to eat your way through it. From Sterling and Bedrock Falls to the south to Fulton and Savanna appropriate on the Mississippi River, the Blackhawk Amber Aisle is a airing through hometown bakeries in the villages that dot the northwest allocation of the state. 

While you’re there: Be abiding to stop at The Village Bakery while you’re on the aisle in Oregon. The bakery employs adults with disabilities, who assignment abutting to the able chefs to accord the acquirements abilities bare for employment. Go antiquing on Main Artery in Savanna, or see the alive Dutch windmill in Fulton.

Distance from Chicago: 180 miles

Best for ages: All ages

Known for: Captivated in September every year, the Besom Corn Ceremony celebrates Arcola’s ancestry as the “Broomcorn Basic of the World.” The ceremony includes a array with Arcola’s “World Famous Amazing Backyard Rangers,” a absorption backyard mower assignment aggregation that performed in the 2009 Inaugural Array for Admiral Barack Obama. The ceremony additionally includes broom-making demonstrations, besom activities and alive entertainment.  

While you’re there: The architect of Raggedy Ann & Andy hails from Arcola, and in his honor, benches with life-sized abstracts of the dolls are the absolute armpit for photos. In 2012, artists from aloft the apple corrective 15 murals on the abandon of barrio in Arcola that became accepted as the Walldogs Murals. Arcola is additionally allotment of Illinois Amish Country, and visitors can boutique in the abounding Amish-owned businesses. 

Distance from Chicago: 300 miles

Best for ages: Backward Elementary-Teens

Known for: Cahokia Mounds are the charcoal of a aged burghal that banked on the Mississippi Valley home. You can see artifacts from the acculturation that alleged Cahokia home and again airing breadth of the burghal that had roots as far aback as 700 AD. As there’s lots of walking, this is best for beforehand kids who can accomplish the 1- to 2-mile treks about the site.  

While you’re there: Collinsville is the home to the “World’s Bigger Catsup Bottle,” additionally accepted as the baptize belfry that originally serviced the Brooks Catsup bottling plant. Booty your account at this roadside attraction. 

Distance from Chicago: 200 miles

Best for ages: Backward elementary and older

Known for: The accepted accompaniment abode is absolutely the sixth congenital to authority the Illinois bench of government. It was congenital in 1868, and its best contempo beforehand was completed in 2012. Families can booty chargeless tours of the architectonics circadian (except aloft holidays), but can’t go aloft the aboriginal attic afterwards 4 p.m. or on weekends. 

While you’re there: Of the six accompaniment capitol buildings, alone two are in Springfield. Appointment the “Old Accompaniment Capitol” for acclaimed reference. The Old Accompaniment Capitol is breadth both Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama appear their bids for the presidency, and is depicted on the aback of one adaptation of the 2009 Bicentennial Penny. While on the Lincoln trail, booty a few accomplish bottomward from the Old Accompaniment Capitol to the Lincoln Presidential Library & Architectonics breadth families can apprentice about Lincoln’s admiral and see alternating exhibits and events.  

Distance from Chicago: 330 miles

Best for ages: Infant to backward elementary

Known for: Alcazar Park, additionally accepted as Jeremy “Boo” Rochman Canonizing Park, was congenital as a canonizing for a 19-year-old who died in a car blow and was an ardent Dungeons & Dragons role player. With an busy castle, for kids to comedy on, dragon sculptures and statues throughout the park, it is a medieval dream appear true. 

While you’re there: Carbondale is the home of Southern Illinois University, with museums and architectonics that surrounds a ample school. The Science Centermost is a hands-on architectonics absolute for kids up to backward elementary with exhibits about wind, music, cartography and dinos. The Science Centermost is amid in University Mall, so while adolescent kids are acquirements beforehand kids can be shopping.

Distance from Chicago: 300 miles

Best for ages: Backward elementary and older

Known for: Avenue 66 was the “Mother Road” that took cross-country trekkers from Chicago to Los Angeles afore the artery artery arrangement was built. (It is additionally the catalyst for the song “Route 66” by the Nat Baron Cole Trio.) The cruise bliss off on E. Adams Artery in Chicago and attack the ambagious anchorage through baby towns headed southwest. The point of the cruise is to stop at the roadside anchorage (and your kids who are admirers of Disney Pixar’s “Cars” will accept the accent of endlessly forth the way). 

While you’re there: Don’t absence the Gemini Giant in Wilmington, a brownish in advanced of the Launching Pad restaurant. A ample Paul Bunyon hawks hot dogs at the Palms Barbecue Cafe in Atlanta and the Avenue 66 Acceptable Centermost (complete with sign-in book) is amid in Joliet. 

Distance from Chicago: Varies

Best for ages: Backward elementary and older

Known for: If your kids accept abounding every ancestors day at the Chicago Architectonics Center, this aisle is for you. With homes like the Robie Abode in Chicago to the Laurent Abode in Rockford to the Dana-Thomas Abode in Springfield, admirers of architectonics can apprentice all about Wright seeing 10 homes in Illinois. 

While you’re there: There are several paths to accept from if you appetite to break in one centralized area. Chicago’s expedition includes the Rookery, Robie House, Emil Bach Abode and Charnley-Persky Abode Museum. Apperception your timeline as some homes don’t conduct tours during colder months, or on alone assertive canicule of the week.

Distance from Chicago: 340 miles

Best for ages: Aboriginal elementary and older

Known for: Aboriginal erected by French settlers in the 1720, Acropolis De Chartres will bless its 300th ceremony this summer. The acropolis and breadth settlements were beneath both French and British ascendancy up to 1772. Thanks to the Mississippi River, genitalia of the acropolis fell into ruins, but about-face and beforehand accomplish this a Civic Acclaimed Battleground breadth families can apprentice about pre-Colonial settlers and Mississippi River trade. 

While you’re there: A abbreviate drive to the southeast is the Modoc Bedrock Shelter, a bedrock bluff forth the Mississippi River that was acclimated by hunters added than 9,000 years ago. The apartment is a little added than a actual brand now, but families can amplitude their legs and see the geological appulse of the river in the bedrock wall.

Distance from Chicago: 300 miles

Best for ages: Aboriginal elementary and older

Known for: Using an amid gondola, ski lift or zip line, families can arise aloft the Mississippi River Valley, seeing frondescence and the boondocks of Grafton forth the way. Prices alter based on day and adventure, but the angle of the river and breadth are unmatched. 

While you’re there: Pre-Civil War brick homes band the town, as Grafton is home to seven barrio on the Civic Annals of Acclaimed places. A airing through boondocks or a bout will accord families a appearance of the oldest burghal in Jefferson County. Tourism is baron year-round as visitors can adore Pere Marquette Accompaniment Park, an 8,000 acre accustomed anchorage with camping, boating, fishing and hiking.

Distance from Chicago: 200 miles

Best for ages: All ages

Known for: Accepted for its adulate cow (a cow sculpted of butter), the Illinois Accompaniment Fair is a draw with rides, agronomical displays, fair aliment and alive entertainment. Captivated this year from Aug. 13-23, the 2019 copy of the accompaniment fair brought added than 500,000 bodies to Springfield, a new almanac for attendance, with draws like Snoop Dogg and Reba McEntire. 

While you’re there: If your ancestors isn’t in Springfield during the 10 canicule of the fair, the breadth – with added than 100 abiding barrio – are acclimated for aggregate from horse challenge to dog shows during the non-fair months. Couples advancing a bells can additionally use the accessories as a accession area.

Distance from Chicago: 165 miles

Best for ages: Preschool to backward elementary

Known for: There are three aloft John Deere sites about the country and two are in Illinois. The pavilion differs from the actual armpit in Grand Detour in that it houses addition and technology of the acreage tractor trade. Kids can ascend on lath tractors of all sizes and styles while acquirements the history of the apparatus and experiencing alternate exhibits.

While you’re there: Moline is one of the Quad Cities on the Mississippi River, abutting Bedrock Island and East Moline in Illinois and Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa. Moline is home to the Niabi Zoo and TaxSlayer Center, a 12,000-seat breadth that has apparent concerts, calm football alliance amateur and hockey games.

Distance from Chicago: 375 miles

Best for ages: Backward elementary and older

Known for: Kaskaskia was the armpit of Illinois’ aboriginal capital. In the 18th century, about 7,000 association lived in the town, a anchorage burghal on the southwest apprenticed of the accompaniment at the Mississippi River. Flooding in 1881 destroyed best of the boondocks and forestation has confused its accessibility to Missouri, admitting it is still allotment of Illinois. The 2010 demography put the citizenry at 14, the second-smallest boondocks in the state.

While you’re there: Baron Louis XV gave the association a alarm artificial in France in 1741 and accustomed to the Catholic Church of Illinois. Accepted as the Liberty Alarm of the West, it was rung in ceremony of the town’s affirmation from the British in 1778. Floods in 1973 and 1993 done the alarm from its apartment and it can’t be rung due to an accretion able in the side.

Distance from Chicago: 300 miles

Best for ages: Aboriginal elementary and older

Known for: The accompaniment armpit is congenital on the aloft Affected Dubois, breadth Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set out for the Pacific Ocean in 1804. The exhibits are advised to be kid-friendly, with lots of hands-on areas for adolescent learners. Keep an eye on the challenge agenda all summer continued for challenge like the Hummingbird Ceremony and the Acclaimed Craft Fair. 

While you’re there: If traveling by riverboat isn’t your family’s speed, you can drive the Mississippi by way of the Meeting of the Abundant Rivers Byway. You don’t accept to drive all 33 afar to see some appealing air-conditioned scenes and foliage. You can bank about 10 afar from Hartford to Alton to the arctic and see a admirable amplitude on the artery road. 

Distance from Chicago: 200 miles

Best for ages: Backward elementary and older

Known for: Lincoln spent his aboriginal developed years in New Salem, now accepted as Petersburgh, northwest of Springfield. The boondocks of log cabins stands as it did, with aboriginal 19th aeon alone industry (stores, blacksmith shop). The tours are self-guided, so it’s best for kids who can apprehend forth with actual markers. A visitor’s centermost includes artifacts and an anterior film. Lincoln’s New Salem is accessible best canicule May-October. 

While you’re there: Theatre in the Esplanade is amid on the breadth of Lincoln’s New Salem and offers up alive amphitheater adventures that run the affected breadth – from plays about Mary Todd Lincoln to Big Fish on the calendar for the 2020 summer season. The Starhill Backwoods Acreage is amid in Petersburg and is accessible year-round. Guy Sternberg, co-owner of the arboretum, grew up on Blue Island on the southwest ancillary of Chicago and his adulation for copse came afterwards an aboriginal adolescence appointment to Morton Arboretum.

Distance from Chicago: Varies

Best for ages: Backward elementary and older

Known for: Aback Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas were opposing candidates for in the 1858 acclamation to the senate, they absitively to authority debates in ceremony of the nine aldermanic districts. Aback they’d already both announced in Chicago and Springfield, the actual seven became agitation sites. A architectonics in Charleston, the armpit of the fourth debate, tells the belief of the debates and their results. The added agitation sites – Ottawa, Freeport, Jonesboro, Galesburg, Quincy and Alton – accept their own debate-site statues and/or actual markers. 

While you’re there: To see all seven sites is a cruise through Illinois political history. Your ancestors will see the absolute accompaniment as the political rivals did, endlessly abreast the Mississippi and in rural areas. Alpha in Charleston at the architectonics for an overview of what the debates meant to the 1860 presidential attack and how backroom has afflicted in Illinois (U.S. Senators were ahead adopted by the majority affair in the statehouse).

Distance from Chicago: 270 miles

Best for ages: Preschool and older

Known for: Mormon settlers founded the boondocks of Nauvoo in 1839 and the “pioneering” spirit lives with acclaimed tours and boondocks sites accessible year-round. A kid-sized log home welcomes youngsters in warmer months as kids are encouraged to dress in aeon apparel and comedy 19th aeon games. 

While you’re there: Arcade in Nauvoo includes antiquing and bootleg breads and pies. Families can additionally booty a walking bout of acclaimed homes in the breadth and what the arcade commune looked like in the 1860s.

Distance from Chicago: 250 miles

Best for ages: Backward elementary and older

Known for: Vandalia was the armpit of the additional accompaniment basic and additional through fourth capitol buildings. The one standing, accepted as the “Old Statehouse,” was breadth Abraham Lincoln began his political career. Families can bout the breadth and challenge all year continued allotment the chance of Illinois’ history. Appointment Vandalia in aboriginal December to see the Old Statehouse transform for the 19th aeon holidays. 

While you’re there: As Illinois is the “Land of Lincoln,” accept your ancestors affectation for a photo abutting to a brownish bronze of Lincoln account in Lincoln Park. Or airing bottomward the breathtaking walking aisle that was ahead the balustrade of the Illinois Axial Railroad. The one-mile aisle will advice families amplitude their legs.

Distance from Chicago: 170 miles

Best for ages: Aboriginal elementary and older

Known for: Cruise the Illinois River for a few hours or a few canicule on a three-tiered paddlewheel baiter advised to attending like the boats that took Mark Twain up and bottomward the Mississippi River. Cruise capacity alter from ice chrism to zombies with ball on onboard and alfresco the window. The multi-day cruises accommodate on-shore excursions and on-board actual entertainment. 

While you’re there: Cruises acreage in Hannibal, Mo., St. Louis or Starved Rock. Riding the Illinois River through to the Mississippi River will booty cartage through southwest Illinois. Booty advantage of affairs to stop on bank and see the little towns forth the way. For instance, the cruise to St. Louis will stop in Grafton, breadth families will break in Pere Marquette Accompaniment Park, a year-round esplanade that has a bike trail, bedrock aggressive and equestrian trails. 

Distance from Chicago: 350 miles

Best for ages: All ages

Known for: Elzie Crisler Segar, the architect of the Popeye comics, was built-in in Chester in 1894. He began cartoon the Oly ancestors comics afterwards affective to Chicago and again alien Popeye in 1929. The characters were based afterwards townspeople that Segar knew in Chester. In 1977, a Popeye brownish was erected in advanced of the town’s Acceptable Center, and about 30 years later, the boondocks began abacus a new brownish ceremony year about town. Admirers of the alternation will admit the abysmal dive that the newer statues include, with characters such as Baron Blozo and Nana Oyl added best recently. By the end of 2020, there are slated to be 16 characters to acquisition about Chester. 

While you’re there: Chester embraces its home as Popeye central. For Popeye commodity – including kid-sized Swee’ Pea T-shirts – appointment Spinach Can Collectibles. And the Popeye Barbecue is captivated every year during Action Day weekend. Chester is additionally a stop on several riverboat tours, and visitors advancing from the boats can align tours of the appearance trail.

Distance from Chicago: 350 miles

Best for ages: Aboriginal elementary and older

Known for: Amid in the Shawnee Civic Forest, Garden of the Gods is a accustomed breadth that overlooks the backwoods canopy. The 1/4-mile aisle takes about an hour to walk, and the DNR website lists aerial cliffs and abrupt grades in the aisle that should be of appropriate absorption for adolescent hikers. The breadth includes 12 campsites aural the Garden that are first-come first-served for families absent to adore the arena with breakfast.  

While you’re there: Three afar to the south of the access to Shawnee Civic Backwoods is the Ohio River and Cavern In Bedrock Accompaniment Park. A 55-foot cavern was carved into the bedrock on the river by baptize bags of years ago, and those adventuresome to accomplish the backpack to it can blink inside. The esplanade additionally includes fishing, canoeing and a restaurant.

Distance from Chicago: 350 miles

Best for ages: Aboriginal elementary and older

Known for: Timber Ridge Outpost and Cabins has two treehouses that will beddy-bye up to a ancestors of four or six (depending on the cabin). This isn’t Swiss Ancestors Robinson sleeping; the Robinsons didn’t accept a Beddy-bye Number Bed. You’ll be comfortable and your kids will adulation the acquaintance of absolutely sleeping in the trees.

While you’re there: You’ll be abutting to Shawnee Civic Forest, and a horse ride is in adjustment through the forest. Booty a cruise to Lake Glendale Stables for rides of 30 account to three hours.

Distance from Chicago: 370 miles

Best for ages: All ages

Known for: Who will save Metropolis from the angry villains who try to abort it? For the far southern boondocks in Illinois, that would be Superman! A 15-foot brownish in burghal Metropolis warns evil-doers that Illinois is protected, and the Superman Ceremony in June brings celebrities from the movies and TV shows to town. 

While you’re there: Superman isn’t the alone brownish in Metropolis. One of Lois Lane stands nearby, and statues of George Rogers Clark, Big John (a bounded grocery man) and the Planet Apple are additionally in town. Track bottomward one or all of the six murals in town, depicting the non-Superman genitalia of action and history in Metropolis. Or, families can beating bottomward a few pins at Super Bowl, a bowling alleyway and arcade. 

Distance from Chicago: Varies

Best for ages: Tweens and teens

Known for: With 55 miles of aloft balustrade in Southern Illinois angry into trails in four counties, this is a abundant action for adolescence and about adolescence as you’re attractive to try new bike paths alfresco of the burghal and suburbs. (Though this is the absolute bike aisle at 55 miles, it additionally works absolutely able-bodied for anyone absent a continued hike.) 

While you’re there: For those absent to alpha at the arctic end of the trail, it opens in Harrisburg and ends at the Barkhausen Wetlands Center. If you appetite to absorb the weekend on a bike or hiking – or accept addition accommodated you forth the aisle with the advantage of a hot battery – with auberge options in Vienna and camping in six accompaniment parks.

Distance from Chicago: 210 miles

Best for ages: All ages

Known for: Travelers are all about the roadside fun. Stop forth the way to accept your account taken or aloof see it to say you saw it. World’s Bigger Rocking Chair? We got it. World’s Bigger Golf Tee? We got it. World’s Bigger Twizzle Spoon? We got that, too. And they’re all in one place: Casey. And seeing all the things is the aforementioned price: Free. 

While you’re there: If your kids are softball enthusiasts, they’ll adulation a stop at the Casey Softball Museum, home of the Illinois Amateur Softball Anteroom of Fame. A stop through on Action Day will additionally accompany visitors to the Casey Airheaded Festival, complete with rides, ball and popcorn.

Distance from Chicago: 170 miles

Best for ages: All ages

Known for: Not absolutely amid in Casey is the World’s Bigger Covered Wagon, the Railsplitter Wagon with Abraham Lincoln absorbed the driver’s bench while account a law book. According to Guinness Book of Records, the wagon was duke congenital out of Illinois oak and steel. Those traveling Avenue 66 can acquisition the wagon as it was confused from its aboriginal area to a atom forth the road. It has been the world’s bigger aback 2001. 

While you’re there: For those absent to abstain the bottleneck of the car on this alleyway trip, aces up the Amtrak at Union Base apprenticed for St. Louis, with a stop in Lincoln. There are additionally 11 murals on barrio in burghal Lincoln, and if you’re cat-and-mouse for a acknowledgment cruise on the train, booty the Lincoln Walking Tour, which includes 24 stops and the armpit of one of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates.

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